Accept, Except, and Expect

Commonly Confused Words

Woman lecturing daughter
I expect you to pay the rent by Friday, and I'll accept no more excuses. David Burch / Getty Images

The words accept, except, and expect sound similar, but their meanings are quite different.


  • Accept is a verb that means to take in.
  • The preposition except means other than.
  • The verb expect means to depend on or await.


  • "You have to accept whatever comes, and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best that you have to give."
    (Eleanor Roosevelt)
  • "Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best.
    Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.
    Except when you don't,
    Because, sometimes, you won't."
    (Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go! Random House, 1990)
  • "Momma sent us to her bedroom with warnings to have our Sunday School lesson perfectly memorized or we knew what we could expect."
    (Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Random House, 1969)
  • Everyone except the elves accepted the wage offer. We expect to return to work soon.

Practice Exercises

(a) Because nobody _____ Shrek would _____ your excuse, I _____ an apology.

(b) I _____ you to pay the rent by Friday, and I'll _____ no more excuses.

Answers to Practice Exercises​

(a) Because nobody except Shrek would accept your excuse, I expect an apology.

(b) I expect you to pay the rent by Friday, and I'll accept no more excuses.

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Your Citation
Nordquist, Richard. "Accept, Except, and Expect." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, Nordquist, Richard. (2020, August 27). Accept, Except, and Expect. Retrieved from Nordquist, Richard. "Accept, Except, and Expect." ThoughtCo. (accessed February 7, 2023).